Advani attends launch of Jaswant's book on Jinnah

The occasion was the 75th anniversary celebrations of the publication group 'Rupa' here where the paper-back edition of Advani's autobiography 'My Country, My Life' was also released.

Two days after his controversial book 'Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence' was launched in the capital, Singh was expelled from BJP for his views on the Pakistan founder.

No senior BJP leaders had at that time attended the function. Advani was in Chandigarh while leaders who were in Delhi were conspicuous by their absence while George Fernandez was prominent among those present.

Advani too had to step down as BJP chief in the wake of his remarks praising Jinnah during a tour of Pakistan.After his expulsion and party-ruled Gujarat banning his book which praised Jinnah, Jaswant had termed BJP as "narrow-minded" party with "limited thought".

However, Singh was readmitted to the party this year.It was a study in contrast tonight as Singh sat beside Advani at the function -- a seminar on future of books -- which was also attended by writer-minister M Veerappa Moily, Gulzar, Ruskin Bond, Mark Tully, M J Akbar and Chetan Bhagat.

Singh's praise of Jinnah and not-so-sympathetic view of the first Home Minister Sardar Vallabhai Patel, whom BJP considers as an iconic figure, with regard to the Partition of India and Pakistan had irked his party.

In the book, Singh claimed that former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's centralised policy was responsible for the Partition and that Jinnah was portrayed as a demon by India for it.

Speaking at the seminar, Advani said his love for reading began at childhood. "I would not have written my autobiography had my wife and daughter not pressurised me," he said.

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